Music writer Tad Dickens brings us this story about Roanoke artist Eric Fitzpatrick’s ventures into depicting New Orleans jazz.
Roanoke artist explores the beauty of music
A Roanoke artist got the inspiration for his latest gallery exhibition while sketching musicians in the French Quarter of New Orleans.
By Tad Dickens
The inspiration for Roanoke artist Eric Fitzpatrick’s new exhibition came from sources close and far away.
On a recent trip to New Orleans and its French Quarter, Fitzpatrick did what he does so often in Roanoke – he sketched musicians performing on streets and in clubs. In his South Roanoke studio basement, he looked around at what he calls “the world’s tackiest room,” an explosion of colors, velvet paintings, and cool junk from roadside attractions, and found his palette.
Starting last year, he began putting together ideas from the Big Easy and his basement, creating paintings and collages of multi-colored performers looking possessed by their art. Today , he puts his 15-piece “The Musicians Series ” in front of the public in an exhibition at LinDor Arts , at its new location on First Street Southwest. He will do meet-and-greets at 6 p.m. today and 2 p.m. Sunday.
“Eric paints his whole life,” LinDor Arts owner Dorsey Taylor wrote in an e-mail. “He finds every thing and every where worthy or recording via visual arts. When I saw his Musicians Series late last summer I was completely wowed. Once I decided to expand my gallery I went back to Eric and asked him to be the grand opening show for LinDor Arts.”
For Fitzpatrick, whose expressionistic landscapes, seascapes and other outdoor scenes hang in public, private and corporate galleries around the world, it is the first gallery exhibition in more than a decade. Like his musical French Quarter subjects and his rambling basement chamber, the work in this show is improvised.
“Everything is possible in an ad lib,” Fitzpatrick said. “You don’t want to hem yourself in by being literal. That’s the last thing you want to do. You just want to feel it, because the whole thing is about emotion.”